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Warner Music Group and TikTok Ink expanded licensing agreement

Warner Music Group and TikTok have announced a first-of-its-kind partnership to expand the licensing agreement of Warner Recorded Music and Warner Chappell Music to TikTok, TikTok Music, CapCut and TikTok’s Commercial Music Library.

The deal marks a major move on the part of Robert Kyncl, who became the CEO at Warner Music Group at the beginning of the year, to get a bigger share of the pie from TikTok, which many label execs have contended provides plenty of exposure for artists but not nearly the level of revenue sharing they’d like to see.

With TikTok having started its own streaming service, TikTok Music — which so far is available only in Brazil and Indonesia — labels are in a position of having some leverage in getting TikTok to make more favorable deals for income from its core app, as the service will clearly rely on the record companies’ help in expanding the streaming component to the U.S., U.K. and other global markets. With this new deal, Kyncl — who knows both sides of the fence, having previously served as YouTube’s chief executive — appears to be exercising that leverage, with TikTok promised plenty of support in return.

The multi-year, multi-product deal will “expand the level of partnership, collaboration and innovation between the two companies,” according to a press release. “It will create new revenue, marketing and insights opportunities for WMG’s artists and songwriters, while deepening the engagement with TikTok’s huge audience of passionate music fans.”

The licensing deal includes not only TikTok’s new streaming service, which is in its infancy in foreign markets, but CapCut, TikTok’s video-editing sister app.

The agreement will allow Warner Music Group to use TikTok’s revenue generation and promotional abilities, as well as work with their brand partners. The deal will allow for joint development of economic models, and provide monetization features like merchandise, ticketing and digital goods to WMG artists and songwriters.

“We are happy and excited for our next chapter together with TikTok,” said Kyncl. “Through this expanded and significantly improved partnership for both companies, we can jointly deliver greater value to WMG’s artists and songwriters and TikTok’s users.”

Shou Chew, CEO of TikTok, said: “We are very excited to partner with Warner Music Group to create a shared vision for the future in which artists, songwriters, music fans and the industry can all benefit from the power of discovery on TikTok platforms.” Variety

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